Amy’s Zero Waste Quest: Farmers’ Markets
As part of my quest to zero waste I plan to make an effort to eat locally this year. If you are working on being a locavore, it helps to have a plan. Eating locally supports local agriculture, requires the use of less energy to transport food, fosters a sense of community, makes less waste, and is better for you. Whether you are a Farmers’ Market Newbie or a well-seasoned veteran, we have got the low-down on what you can expect to find in-season and when in Indiana.
Before you visit the Farmers’ Market it helps to know which fruits and vegetables will be at the peak of the season and when you can expect that to happen. This guide will allow you to know when you can find your favorites and also when the season will wane (this is when you can get the best deal on bulk purchases). We will focus on the local favorites:
- Strawberries and Blackberries – Don’t wait! These delicious little beauties are ready in June. Look for shiny, brightly colored fruits that are fragrant.
- Lettuce and other greens – High in antioxidants and easy to prepare, greens are ready in June. Be sure to eat them as soon as you purchase them for the best flavor.
- Peas – Peas that are homegrown are sweet and lovely. Eat them raw, cook them right away or freeze them for later. Peas are available throughout June and into July.
- Potatoes, Brocolli, Carrots and Beets – Farmer’s Markets have all kinds of varieties to choose from. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new. You will find all of these available beginning in mid-late June and into July.
- Beans, Cucumbers, Melons, Sweet Corn, Squash and Tomatoes – Jackpot! All of these wonderful local favorites are ripe at about the same time. Mid-July through August you will be able to feast on this bounty.
Now that you know when to find your favorites, you might be looking for some recipes. Check out the following books: Fresh From the Farmers’ Market by Janet Fletcher and The Feast Nearby by Robin Mather. These are great reads with some recipes for all of those local finds. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the farmers you purchased your produce from. Very often, they can provide you with recipes and tips for preparing and preserving their harvest.
Hendricks County’s farmers’ markets are beginning to open. Danville is now open on Saturdays from 8 am-noon until September. Plainfield will be open Wednesdays beginning in June, Avon on Tuesdays beginning in June, and Pittsboro will open on Wednesdays beginning July 1st. Brownsburg farmers’ market will likely open in June.